Civic Works FY15 Annual Report (PDF)

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Civic Works

Building Brighter Futures





















Thank you for supporting Civic Works

Provided 234 AmeriCorps members
with service opportunities

You’re building brighter futures.

Placed 64 participants
in green careers

Repaired or weatherized
For the most part, we mean that figuratively. Your contributions have helped our job trainees and high school
students find jobs and enter college. We celebrated our
largest REACH! Partnership School graduating class to date,
our 89 seniors received over $225, 000 in scholarship funds
this year. Our Real Food Farm provided over 1,900 students with educational experiences and over 700 seniors
received services to help them comfortably age in place
through our Cities for All Ages program.

Dana Stein
Executive Director

Jonathan Melnick
Chair, Board of Directors

You helped us create brightness in a literal sense as well.
Our Retrofit Baltimore program expanded significantly in
2015, providing home energy efficiency improvements and
installing our first rooftop solar systems, so that residents
can more affordably keep their lights on. Thirty-two participants went solar through our new bulk-purchasing solar
co-op program -- installing 201 kilowatts of solar power on
their own rooftops and saving $33,388 annually on electric
bills. Our Baltimore Center for Green Careers became Maryland’s first solar training program earlier this year, offering
graduates the industry certifications they need to join this
growing field.
We have created art installations at some of our vacant
lot projects and Baltimore Orchard Project sites, so that
communities can enjoy colorful amenities together with
their new orchards and mini-parks. The first phase of
Clifton Mansion’s renovation process is complete and we
are honored to continue its legacy of service to Baltimore’s

436 homes

Engaged 3,040 volunteers
in service projects


Grew 39,731 pounds
of fresh produce


Converted 7 vacant lots into
community green spaces

Tutored and mentored 3,775
local students

Made 5,894 households more
energy efficient

Building better futures is a key part of what we do at Civic
Works, and we are so very proud that you have joined us
in adding brightness and vibrancy in so many wonderful








We are mentoring Baltimore County and City students
through AVID, a national model dedicated to closing the
achievement gap by preparing all students for college
and other postsecondary opportunities.

We are making Baltimore’s economy more equitable and
sustainable by training residents for jobs in the emerging
green sector. Our EnergyReady, Project Lightbulb and Retrofit Baltimore programs provide services that make homes
safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient.

We partner with Baltimore communities to transform
vacant and abandoned lots into neighborhood
gardens and green spaces.

We help older adults access housing services by providing support to community-based organizations.





We help high school students from Baltimore City develop job skills and learn about more about the environment through a variety of conservation projects.

We help Baltimore City residents, businesses, and
nonprofits save energy by making energy efficiency
installations in homes and engaging schools and
communities in energy education.

We grow food in Baltimore County using sustainable
methods, producing high-quality vegetables at an affordable price, while prioritizing skills training for young
farmers and environmental stewardship of the land.

We prepare students for college and careers in healthcare and construction. Graduates leave the school with
the certifications they need to start jobs or apprenticeships as nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians,
carpenters, or electricians.





We plant and cultivate orchards, teaching neighbors
to be long-term stewards and sharing the harvest
among us all.

We help older adults age in place through fall prevention, safety repairs, referrals to supportive services, and
occupational therapy.

We work toward a just and sustainable food system by
improving neighborhood access to healthy food, providing experience-based education, and helping develop an economically viable, environmentally responsible
local agriculture sector.

We build brighter futures for low-income Baltimore City
youth, many of whom have dropped out of high school.
We provide construction training and certifications,
assistance in earning a high school diploma or GED,
college preparedness and job placement services.



“My daughter is my motivation”

By the age of sixteen James Knight was supporting himself. Now that he is twentytwo and has his own family to support, the stakes are even higher. That is why he
is pursuing a career in construction and joined Civic Works’ YouthBuild program to
develop the skills he needs to achieve his goal.
According to the Job Opportunities Task Force, in 2013 approximately 17,910
Baltimore City youth were neither working nor enrolled in school; that is one in five
of our young people. Seventy-nine percent were African American.
Growing up in Baltimore can be tough and it’s even more difficult alone. James lost
his mother in 2000 and his father in 2009. Since then he has worked hard to keep his
family together. James says this struggle to survive helped him form a strong mindset
and become very self-aware at an early age. It has also made him determined to find
a career that can support his family. “I always wanted to do construction work”, he
says, “I’m living my dream. To me, it’s more than an occupation.”

“I really am a good person.
I’ve just been through a lot.
We tend to be stereotyped;
I’m trying to break that
stereotype. I want better.”

After only two months with us, James was excelling. He gained hands-on
construction experience by renovating a house in a low-income community - he
installed doors, painted walls and ceilings, waterproofed a basement, and installed
a new bathroom sink, vanity and toilet. James became a Sherman Williams Certified
Painter and earned his OSHA 10-hour Construction certification and Home Builders
Institute (HBI) Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) Certification upon
completion of the program.
James knows what he wants to do with his life and how he can make his dreams of
a career in construction a reality. The skills and certifications he gainined through
YouthBuild will be invaluable assets. James knows the road ahead won’t be easy but
he is enthusiastic about his future. As he puts it, “It’s about how bad you want it.”

Thank you for helping
James prepare for his
future career. Next year,
20 young adults like James
will join our YouthBuild
program. Your continued
support will give them a
chance to learn construction skills, earn a GED, and
provide for their families.



“I’m so glad I made the decision to complete the Energy Retrofit program at BCGC.
Without the training, the certification, the interviews I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Jordan was looking for a job but faced a major roadblock on his road to success: a criminal record. At 27, Jordan found himself on parole after eight years of incarceration. “My criminal record
had a profound effect on my ability to get a job. I would apply, get interviewed and then the
background check would reveal my past. My record was a big issue.”
He shared his dreams of a brighter future with his case manager who encouraged him to apply
to Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Green Careers’ training program (BCGC), he did just that and
got an interview on the spot. BCGC trains unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents,
including those with a criminal record, for green jobs. Participants earn industry-recognized certifications and receive job placement assistance upon successful completion of the program.

“Getting the training and
certifications was exactly
what I needed.”

At BCGC Jordan learned how to make houses more energy efficient through comprehensive
courses in building science and developed the skills necessary to properly air seal and insulate
homes. He started his training in a classroom setting, which was followed by a hands-on practicum and on-the-job training with our EnergyReady program. “It was really helpful to have the
on-the-job training”, he says, “we got to get our feet wet in the warehouse, then utilized our skills
in the field. It was a good process.” He received his US Department of Energy 35-hour Weatherization Tactics, OSHA 30 Construction Safety, and EPA Lead Renovation Repair and Painting certifications. “It was a seamless transition from the on-the-job training to being employed with Elysian Energy (the region’s leading energy efficiency firm). The day after completing my program at
BCGC, I stared working, I didn’t skip a beat. I had interviewed with nine companies so I had a lot
of options, which I really appreciated.”
Trainees like Jordan also improve upon their soft skills at BCGC though mock interviews, resume
building and workplace communication. Jordan found these courses to be very valuable. They
have helped him navigate the terrain of his new career and deal with the situations one experiences on a daily basis in the field. “The staff at BCGC were selfless and outgoing, and they went
the extra mile to make sure that we were in the best position possible. I am most grateful for
that: working with genuine people who want the best for you, from beginning to end, including
the training and the job placement. They made sure that every last one of us was successful, they
definitely made a difference and their commitment was incredible.”

Thank you for helping Jordan
find a permanent job that he
loves. Next year, 100 Baltimore
residents will enter the Baltimore Center for Green Careers.
Many of them, like Jordan, have
been arrested or spent time in
jail. Your continued support
will give them a new start in the
green economy.



Joey Payne and Tykiera Simmons both have big plans for the future. The recent REACH! Partnership
School graduates were at the top of their class of 89 students. Joey was the class Valedictorian and
graduated with a 4.09 GPA, Tykiera was Salutatorian with a 3.06 GPA. Both students achieved so much
during their time at REACH! and will accomplish a lot more in the years to come.

“At REACH!, I improved my skills and I grew into myself.”
Joey started at REACH! Partnership School as a sixth grader and immediately felt a connection to
the school. The teachers and staff encouraged him to step outside of his comfort zone and pushed
him to improve academically. He did well in school and participated in extracurricular activities,
which he says enriched his educational experience. He even spent time tutoring his fellow students
as an AmeriCorps member.

“I’m going to pursue my
dreams and become what
I want to be.”

By the time he graduated, Joey had already become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), earned 18
college credits through REACH!’s Early College Program, received CPR and first aid training, was a
three-time Ben Carson Scholar and joined the National Honor Society. Joey will attend Stevenson
University, where he plans on pursuing a degree in biology and a career as a dentist. He says it’s a
solid career that will enable him to help those in need.

“The teachers are super supportive. If you need help with homework,
even on weekends, they are always within reach.”
Tykiera knows she wants to become a Registered Nurse and now has the tools she needs to make
that happen. The tutoring, mentoring and college readiness training she received at REACH! helped
her form this focused and attainable goal. Like Joey, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant, which
will bring her one step closer to her dream.
REACH’s Early College Program had a huge impact on her. She joined her sophomore year and got
to experience “living the college lifestyle while still in high school”. She says it was overwhelming at
first – signing up for classes, handling the coursework, interacting with new people – but professors,
REACH! staff and AmeriCorps members worked closely with her to navigate this new terrain. As a
high school student, Tykiera earned 12 college credits that she will use to continue her academic
journey at Baltimore City Community College.

Thank you for helping Joey
and Tykiera prepare for college. This year, nearly 500
students will attend REACH!
Partnership School. Your continued support will allow students like Joey and Tykiera to
finish high school in a supportive atmosphere where they
learn that college and careers
are goals they can achieve.



Our Volunteers

AmeriCorps Members
Getting Things Done!

“Jim did a terrific job, I was so
pleased. I am so thankful.”
- Ms. Carter
Our Cities for All Ages Handy
People volunteers help local
seniors with small but important home repairs such as painting, repairing closet doors, and
replacing door knobs.

In 2015, 3,040 Civic Works volunteers served
over 11,700 hours in our communities. These
dedicated and enthusiastic individuals transformed vacant lots, harvested produce from
our urban farms and orchards, made repairs
to seniors’ homes, helped restore our historic
headquarters, Clifton Mansion, and so much
more. At our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
and Ricky Myers Day of Service events, hundreds of volunteers join us to make a major
impact through one day city-wide improvement projects.
Thank you, Civic Works volunteers, for all
of your hard work! Together we are making
Baltimore a better place.

“Life before AmeriCorps was a bit of a struggle for me. It was hard to get into college and
I worried about taking out loans. I always talk
about how great AmeriCorps is to many different people. I try to encourage the ones that
I know need help with college and job readiness to just try one term. Once you do one,
you’re going to want to do another.” - Jamaal

In 2015, 234 Civic Works
AmeriCorps members served
their communities. They tutored students, grew food,
created community gardens,
repaired homes, and helped
homeowners and businesses
save energy. They received a
stipend, training, and an education award that can be used
for college, trade school, or to
repay qualified student loans.


Thank You to Our 2015 Supporters

The Abell Foundation
Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore Community Foundation
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore Department of Housing and
Community Development
Baltimore Office of Sustainability
The Bunting Family Foundation
Corporation for National and
Community Service
The Corps Network
Environmental Protection Agency
France-Merrick Foundation
Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism
Housing Authority of Baltimore City
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Energy Administration
Mayor’s Office of Employment Development
Morton and Sophia Macht Foundation
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Leonard and Helen R. Stulman
Charitable Foundation
United States Conference of Mayors
United States Department of Labor
The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation
Wells Fargo Bank

$10,000 - $99,000

Associated Black Charities
Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
BGE, An Exelon Company
Marc G. Bunting
Mary Catherine Bunting
Chesapeake Bay Trust
Clayton Baker Trust
The Columbia Association
Community of Curtis Bay Association
Betty Lee and Dudley P. Digges Memorial Fund
Dundalk Renaissance Corporation
Family League of Baltimore City
Harford County Department of Social Services
The Hoffberger Foundation
The Institute for Integrative Health
The Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund
Lockhart Vaughan Foundation
Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and
The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family
Charitable Foundation
Open Society Institute - Baltimore
PNC Foundation
Marjorie Roswell
Southeast Community Development
The Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation
The Alvin & Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation
Town Creek Foundation
United States Department of Agriculture
YouthBuild USA

$5,000 - $9,999

AM Conservation
Bank of America
Blue Water Baltimore
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company
CSX Transportation
Diana Digges
The Home Depot Foundation
Maryland Affordable Housing Trust
New Belgium Brewing Company
People to People International
Carol and Dan Schwartz
Timberland, LLC
Venable Foundation
Waverly Main Street

$2,500 - $4,999

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Brown Advisory
Constellation, An Exelon Company
Harkins Builders
Historic East Baltimore Community Action
Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler
Share our Strength
SunTrust Bank
United Way of Central Maryland
WBC Community Development Corporation


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